30 May 2009

Yet Another Week

Meaning lots of stuff to do. Lots of this week has been helping my younger son with his Eagle Scout Project, which entails repairing a campsite in the area. But we also went to another graduate open house for a friend of his and the annual picnic for his rowing team. My spouse prepared one last festive lunch for the faculty at his high school. I appeared on what seems to be my weekly radio show with a colleague, conducted a memorial service later that day, and finally a wedding rehearsal. The wedding was today, along with a sold-out performance of our new local gay men’s chorus – something my clergy colleague helped to organize and take part in.

My obviously failing memory recalls that late spring brought a lovely slow down of things, but clearly that is not the case. The to-do list gets longer and longer. And it will never end. A friend told me many years ago, “No one ever died with an empty in-box.”

“Seek simplicity and suspect it,” Alfred North Whitehead said, I believe. That’s hard. In fact, it sounds very like Simone Weil’s definition of genius – to hold two opposing ideas in the mind at the same time. That Whitehead fellow was rather bright after all.

This morning, owing to said Eagle Scout Project, I walked to synagogue services. Not being New York, it was a sizable walk. An hour each way. Little one can do while walking except think. I considered simplicity, and how it is not easy to find and when found not easy to do. In fact, the simpler something is, the harder it is. Ten commandments are not many, but has anyone ever succeeded at all of them? The Golden Rule is one simple thing, as is Kant’s Categorical Imperative. But no one would say they are easy.

So I suppose a busy life may be the consequence of seeking simplicity. Paradoxical, I suppose. Simone would approve. Alfred would be skeptical.

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